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(Above) The Kellogg Classification System of 20 styles of children’s scribbles.


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(Above) The use of squares, angles.

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(Above) The emergence of the human form, alone.


(Above) Advanced drawing, the animal kingdom.

(Above)The human, interacting (relationship with) other things.

IN 1967, RHODA KELLOGG PUBLISHED AN ARCHIVE OF OVER 8,000 DRAWINGS MADE BY CHILDREN ages 24-40 months. (See Kellogg, R.: Rhoda Kellogg Child Art Collection. Washington, DC., Microcard Editions, Inc., 1967; now available at LexisNexis, Reed Elsevier, Inc..) Up to that point, no other archive of early graphic expressions was ever published, including a large sample of pictures and presented according to a classification system. Thus, the archive has historical status.

Rhoda Kellogg was a psychologist and a nursery school educator. Here investigations focused on the art of young children, that is, on early graphic expressions. From 1948 to 1966, she collected approximately one million drawings of young children of ages two to eight. More than half a million of these drawings are filed in the Rhoda Kellogg Child Art Collection of the Golden Gate Kindergarten Association in San Francisco, U.S.A.. Of these half-million and more drawings, some 8,000 are available, in microfiche form (see above). Some 250 paintings and drawings, selected as outstanding examples of children’s work, are reproduced in full color. (See Kellogg, R. and O’Dell, S.: The Psychology of Children’s Art. Del Mar, California, 1967.)

I made a selection of a few drawings—believe me, you could spend an entire day going through 8,000 drawings.

Kellogg describes the very first development of children’s drawings as a sequence of basic shapes or forms and their configurations: starting from twenty basic scribbles, which can be observed at the age of two, children develop placement patterns, emergent diagram shapes, diagrams, combines, aggregates, mandalas, suns, radials, before humans and early pictorialism appear. Kellogg understands this sequence as a manifestation of Gestalts, according to the Gestalt theory.

Ms. Kellogg is also one of the rare authors who presents an extensive classification system related to early graphic expressions, combined with an attempt to give empirical evidence for the picture attributes of the system and their role in the development of drawing and painting.

Go to the Kellogg site here.

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